The Giaour is the first important poem that Byron wrote after Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812) had made him famous. It began the series of four immensely popular Oriental Tales that he wrote while he was the toast of literary London from 1812 until 1816. These were four verse narratives – The Giaour, The Bride of Abydos, The Corsair and Lara – with exotic eastern settings and brooding, tormented heroes. They were all instant best-sellers.
Byron joked about the unpronounceability of his title – the word is pronounced with a soft “g”, and rhymes with “power”. It is an Arabic word for “infidel” and refers to the poem's hero, who is described by his enemy as “apostate f…
Mole, Tom. "The Giaour". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2002
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